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Bowman promises open-data policy at city hall if elected

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Brian Bowman

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Mayoral candidate ‎Brian Bowman says he'll release all information the City of Winnipeg is legally allowed to release if he's elected mayor in October.

On Thursday, the privacy lawyer announced an open-data policy ‎that would eliminate any discretionary or political decision-making when it comes to the release of city information.

Bowman said if he were mayor, the city would not withhold the locations of properties at risk of frozen pipes. The city did not release this information this winter out of fears property owners would run their taps and overwhelm the drainage system.

Bowman also promised the city would collect all information in machine-readable format, but could not say how much that would cost. The city does not provide enough information about its processes to make such an estimate, he said.

Bowman said it would not be easy to change the culture of data-collection and dissemination among the city's public service. The process would take a while, he said.

He did promise to reduce the number of freedom-of-information requests made to the city by 25 per cent within a year of becoming mayor.

He also promised to identify the 20 most sought-after pieces of information and release them by the end of his first year.

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